Desk research

Purpose

You can with desktop research start defining what it is that you need to research. Create search terms, who do you need to talk to, what papers do you need to read, which methods could you use both to gain an overview but also to accumulate data and how to collect the right kind of data etc.  

Accomodate participants who are not able to:

If you can not see and you need to do a lot of research there are multiple ways of doing it. It could be difficult to read papers although you can get apps/programs that can make your computer read the papers out loud. You could also have a helper that could read them out loud. You would still be able to talk to stakeholders/users. If you are making a redesign of something you could use your senses and ‘feel your way’ of how the product/service works.

If you have a hard time focusing on conducting research for longer periods of time, divide the research in bits – do not rush through it. It is better to take your time and get the right data/information than pressuring yourself to have gathered a certain amount of data at a certain time frame. Just add more time to your research phase in your overall plan.

If you can not speak, your main challenge for accumulating research data would be to talk to people. Do not stop yourself from conducting interviews, bring along a translator/someone who can do sign language and just take your time with it. Another way could be for you to have prepared an interview guide where the people you interview just read from the guide.

If you can not hear, your main challenge for accumulating research data would be to talk to people. Do not stop yourself from conducting interviews, bring along a translator/someone who can do sign language and just take your time with it.

P

Input

Research
O

Output

Data collection
s

Complexity

Moderate

Time

Ongoing

No. of participants

N/A

Activity required

Core abilities: - Be reflective - Plan - Gather data - Be analytical

Step by Step

 

1 Define the objectives of your research. In order to search well, you need to know what it is that you are looking for. 4 Conduct the research.
2 Create a research plan. 5 Conclude and verify the data/information you have gained throughout your research.
3 Define your stakeholders or create an actor network

When doing this method you should consider

As it can be difficult to determine when to stop researching it would be a good idea to create a research plan before you start doing your research. The plan will most likely change along the process although it is a good idea to have some structure. Often times, developers have a hard time moving on from research because there will ultimately always be more to learn, but if you have created a plan with overall learnings that you want to achieve and you have achieved them you have an indicator saying ‘it is okay to move on to the next steps in the development’.

Make sure that you are diverse in your research. Do not accumulate all data/information from only using one method e.g. reading papers online. It is important that you both do desktop research, talk to people, perform different methods etc. to gain many perspectives on the subject you are researching.

Materials needed

Computer, interview guides, methods & templates to collect data, paper, pens, post-its.

This method goes well with

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